Blog Archives

Film: Mongol, Central Asian Studies Society, Harper 141, Wednesday, April 27, 6pm




Mongol: The Rise of Genghis Khan
Starring Tadanobu Asano, Honglei Sun, Khulan Chuluun, Amadu Mamadakov
Written by Arif Aliev & Sergei Bodrov
Directed by Sergei Bodrov
2 hours 6 minutes
MPAA rated R for sequences of bloody warfare.

Award-winning Russian filmmaker Sergei Bodrov (Prisoner of the Mountains) illuminates the life and legend of Genghis Khan in his stunning historical epic, MongolMongol delves into the dramatic and harrowing early years of the ruler who was born as Temüjin in 1162. As it follows Temüjin from his perilous childhood to the battle that sealed his destiny, the film paints a multidimensional portrait of the future conqueror. Mongol shows us the making of an extraordinary man, and the foundation on which much so much of his greatness rested: his wife Börte, his lifelong love and most trusted advisor.

Mongol, from its thrilling battles to its intimate romance, has the look, scale,
story and feel of an old-fashioned epic in the best and biggest sense of the word.”
Orlando Sentinel

“The action sequences here are first-rate, the performances are uniformly excellent,
the cinematography as good as I’ve seen in any film this year.”
—Richard Roeper

“As a visual spectacle, it is all but overwhelming, putting to shame
some of the recent historical epics from Hollywood.”
—Roger Ebert

“Bodrov has simply created an overwhelmingly awesome Khan who could believably
conquer the overwhelmingly awesome landscape over the course of two more films.”
—M.E. Russell

Mongol is the first film of a proposed trilogy that charts his conquest of half the
known world. If the sequels match this one, they can’t come soon enough.”
Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“I don’t know the Mongolian word for panache, but Mongol‘s got plenty of it.
The battle scenes are as notable for their clarity as their intensity…”
Wall Street Journal

“Russian filmmaker Sergei Bodrov contrasts images of sweeping
landscape and propulsive battle with potent scenes of emotional
intimacy in Mongol, his quite grand, quite exotic, David Lean-style epic.”
Entertainment Weekly

Week 5, Wednesday, April 27, 6:00

Harper Hall, Room 141
Anyone needing assistance with accommodation, please e-mail Bill Walsh at

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Film: Nomad (2006, Kazakhstan), Central Asian Studies Society, Stuart 105, April 20, 4pm

Nomad, The Warrior
A historical epic from Kazakhstan
Starring Kuno Becker, Jason Scott Lee, Ayanat Ksenbai
Written by Rustam Ibragimbekov
Executive Producer: Miloš Forman
Directed by Ivan Passer, Sergei Bodrov & Talgat Temenov
1 hour 52 minutes

Set in 18th-century northern Central Asia, a vast region of majestic beauty corresponding to today’s Republic of Kazakhstan, this historical epic tells the story of the boyhood, youth, and coming of age of a man destined to become Abylai Khan, who united the Kazakh clans against the onslaught of formidable, seemingly overwhelming Jungar invaders, and of his wise Sufi teacher. A visually spellbinding, spectacular epic of war, romance, undying friendship and loyalty with a cast of thousands (and no CGI!).
“…fierce battles, a gorgeous landscape and heartfelt performances.”
The New York Daily News

Week 4, Wednesday, April 20, 4:00

Stuart Hall, Room 105
Anyone needing assistance with accommodation, please e-mail Bill Walsh at



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Film: Genghis Blues (1999), Central Asian Society and Turkish Circle, Cobb Hall, April 13, 6pm


You are Invited to Join
the Central Asian Studies Society and Turkish Circle
for a Special Screening of the Oscar-Nominated Documentary Film:


(1999) Directed by Roko Belic, 88 minutes

The University of Chicago
Wednesday, April 13
Cobb Hall, Room 210
6:00 PM


At once whimsical and profound, Genghis Blues chronicles the journey of blind blues legend Paul Pena as he discovers the ancient art of Tuvan throat singing and participates in the national competition. Belic’s brand of freestyle filmmaking brings an infectious energy to this documentary, which is both a powerful, personal portrait of a musician and the story of a unique cultural exchange. Where Pena suffers personal injustice from being black and disabled at home, he experiences overwhelming acceptance, respect, and admiration in Tuva. Belic’s playfully earnest camera captures Pena’s excitement as he travels through the country, experiencing the drama of competition, witnessing spectacular performances, and astounding audiences with his musical ability.Genghis Blues is a testament to the transformative powers of music.


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